By now, you’ve likely noticed things are changing on LinkedIn – big time. This is the largest update for the platform since its initial launch. Navigation is more streamlined, the search bar has been optimized, you’re receiving personalized suggestions to make your profile stand out, and more. These changes are designed to make the platform easier to use, and more attractive to the average user.
Don’t write this off as just a little profile redesign – this major change from LinkedIn has real implications for brands. It has the potential to impact how you plan B2B social media campaigns, and here’s why:
This Is a Power Play to Attract More Active Users
These updates go far beyond prettying things up, this is a calculated move by LinkedIn to engage users and get them to return to the site much more frequently. This redesign solved many of the complaints users had about LinkedIn, including the major challenge that it was difficult to navigate. Now, as WIRED notes, the new LinkedIn looks a lot like Facebook – and that’s a smart move. Facebook has over 1,870 million active users, so it’s safe to assume most people know their way around the platform, and may now feel more comfortable using LinkedIn. LinkedIn also updated its newsfeed, adding trending topics and in-line messaging. These new features are all designed to keep users coming back and checking in regularly, something that LinkedIn has struggled with for years, falling behind more popular sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Why does this matter for brands? The simple answer is that there’s real potential that people are going to start using LinkedIn more often. That means there could soon be a much larger pool of people to reach on LinkedIn with your B2B marketing efforts. Previously, it often made sense to run paid social campaigns on Facebook instead of LinkedIn, for the (rational) reasoning that business decision makers are more consistently active there. Now, it might be time to pause, and reconsider LinkedIn. We’ll see what this year holds, but LinkedIn is hoping its active user numbers won’t be stagnant for much longer.
New Opportunities to Showcase Your Brand and Company Thought Leadership
Another major update from LinkedIn is a new and improved career page – which directly puts the spotlight on your brand’s company culture and leadership team. LinkedIn’s “Life” tab in particular is a compelling new addition. Through photos, videos, employee testimonials, company leader profiles and more, it’s easier than ever to paint the picture of what your brand represents and showcase that to the world. Good for hiring purposes, and great for brand reputation building.
The new career page has other implications as well – especially for brands and agencies focusing on thought leadership, and diligently working to place opinion pieces from top executives. Thought leadership from executives can now be featured directly on your brand’s profile, via the “Life” tab. In addition to LinkedIn Pulse, this is a great way to get your brand’s voice out there, build brand reputation and get more eyes on the initiatives you’re working on. If your brand’s executives are active on LinkedIn and open to working with you to pen key thought leadership pieces or work on employee profiles, the time is now.
2017 is shaping up to be a big year for LinkedIn! How are you enjoying the new profile set-up so far – does it inspire you to visit the site more often?